For those who joined in late, the first chapter was about how a bunch of archeologists led by Rick 'O Donnel Fraser and his girlfriend Evie Weisz get entangled in an adventure when they plan to unearth the legend of a mummy called Imhotep. Not that they are cheap - but they look cheap. Critics love to bash the 'popcorn' genre of all flash and no substance films. The Mummy Returns will please many that are looking for a mindless roller coaster ride with some familiar friends. The bracelet is the trigger that, once donned, will set about the resurrection of the Scorpion King. There is something beyond the majestic poetry of old creature films, the visceral madness of the horror creatures or the thrill-a-minute nouveau creatures, that just appeals to our basest instincts.
What it is, is a guilty pleasure - the kind you secretly like and don't tell your friends about. I love creature films, and as bad as they can get, I watch them with unfettered glee. Daring adventurers Rick Fraser and Evie Weisz are now married and the parents of a precocious eight-year-old son Alex Boath. Anyone looking for a genuine summer action film might want to take a peek in the next hall, because this one ain't it. They did that unabashedly with 'The Mummy' two years ago, but audiences embraced the film making it a blockbuster worldwide. Seriously, it may not be as cool as it sounds when I write about it actually, it definitely isn't , but who cares? With Im-Ho-Tep alive again and the boy in their possession, the evil band returns to Egypt following the path projected by the bracelet to find the Scorpion King's hidden oasis in the desert. On top of that, the effects are completely slipshod.
Not only is the plot completely nonsense, the writing is completely and utterly failing the purpose of dialog. Anubis grants the wish but damns the warrior to eternity in hell or until he is awakened in 5,000 years. I don't think I have the answer to that. At absolutely zero cost to his imagination, he has managed to cram his film with completely ridiculous moments, ones that stand out as insanely ridiculous at times - but all awesome nonetheless. Rick, Evie and her brother Jonathan John Hannah remain in close pursuit following Alex's breadcrumb trail and Evie's increasingly realistic visions. Every now and then you hear somebody whine about how much they hate mummies. The opportunities to build off the strengths of the first film have been wasted in this sequel.
This film isn't going to set the cash counters ringing like its predecessor did, and for good reasons, too. That's because all the creature love in the world can't save the fact that the script is utter trash. There, I've given you my verdict, if that is what you were after, so you can stop reading now. The King prays to the god of death, Anubis, and offers his soul in exchange for his life. Complications arise when Alex puts the bracelet on his own wrist, rendering it impossible to get off as well as starting the resurrection process. If you have seen The Mummy, you will realize that the transformation of Evie from a klutzy egghead to a brash, cleavage-baring, black-eyeliner-donned adventurer is evident.
This is only for the twisted few among us that love their creatures and their over-the-top sequences. Adventure, but now tempered with a fierce protection for his family. What is it about creature films that attract us? The bad here is not Michael Bay bad, because that's awful, but it's creatively, ludicrously, in-love-with-itself bad. The Mummy Returns moves at breakneck speed crashing its way through one action sequence after another towards the final climax. . Despite the domesticity, the family is still exploring and unlocking the mysteries of the pharaohs.
The evil goons follow the O' Connells to their home in London where they manage to kidnap the boy and reincarnate the mummy. For fans of the series I don't know if there are any, but I am unashamed to say I used to be one , it is blight on the face of Arnold Vosloo, and for cinephiles, the hole-ridden plot is as forgettable as they come. It is very hard for me to count the merits or demerits of a film I know to be bad, but love that it is awesomely bad. That is a huge choke point for my review, though. We are never told how these dastardly archeologists got together - just that their plans are to raise the mummy once again, trigger the bracelet so the mummy can defeat the King, and rule the world. Having pleased the audience with that, the sequel plans to be even more outlandish than the first, with an increasing dependence on special effects and everything else being shown the backseat. I shall, for my part, however, continue to explain why it was a blast to watch for me.
Weirdly enough, it becomes the kind of film that delivers on a level completely its own. And that's the key - the unfettered love for creature films that drove me to watch this film is what should drive most of you to watch this film. Brendan Fraser is the only one with that goofy aloofness that is required for the film to work, and while his constant scrambles for money shots are tiring, at least I didn't mind him much. The textual, graphic, audio and audiovisual material in this site is protected by copyright law. Led by the creepy curator of the British Museum and a look-a-like for Im-Ho-Tep's lost love, Anck-Su-Namun Patricia Arlequez , they are looking for the dangerous Book of the Dead from the first film and the remains of Im-Ho-Tep.
The Mummy Returns takes place in 1933, ten years after the first film. Jet Li, Michelle Yeoh and John Hannah are all in for a quick cheque, while the lovely Maria Bello will never fill the shoes that Rachel Weisz vacated. Any trademarks are the properties of their respective owners. It's a pity considering the talent involved, but not unexpected in the blockbuster driven Hollywood of today. The elements that made the first film such a hoot - the character development, a well-structured story and the pacing - have gone out the window in this sequel.
The bright spot is the cast, which is excellent if underdeveloped. The acting too is so terrible, it hurts to see the actors in any plot-expository sequence. The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor is a terrible film. There are, of course, some great fight scenes, a few knock-your-socks-off effects and the talented cast. It has everything - exotic places in its scope, tomb-raidin', creatures, gunfights, a father-son duo, dragons, stone horses on fire, Fu Lions, Yetis, an army of stone or some crap, and a little bit of Wu Xia thrown in. Yet, all in all, the charm and menace from the first film is lacking.
This is symptomatic of most summer films anyway, so you can discount that. When there isn't a single one in the film. Coming back to the creatures and the kind of spectacle they create to draw us to them, I had a great time watching this over-the-top nonsensical film simply because it is so awfully bad, it takes a full circle and transgresses a little to the side of good. Elsewhere in the desert, another group of menacing excavators is working on the ruined site of Hamunaptra. The story takes a back seat to flying dirigibles, marauding pygmies, four reincarnations, two desert wars, sexy female combat, killer walls of water and, not in the least, a major death. The critics haven't changed in this period, but the other part will.